Tracking Number:  203682

Title:  "Iraqi Non-Compliance With UN Security Council Resolutions."Statement of John R Bolton, Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs, before the Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Organizations and on Europe and the Middle East of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, July 18, 1991. (910729)

Date:  19910729


Iraqi Non-Compliance With UN Security Council Resolutions

John R. Bolton, Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs Statement before the Subcommittees on Human Rights and International Organizations and on Europe and the Middle East of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Washington, DC, July 18, 1991

I have a prepared statement which, with your consent, I will submit for the record. I will confine my present remarks to commenting on pending policy issues and their implications for the UN's future role in bringing lasting peace and security to the Persian Gulf. It is fortuitous that you have called this hearing at the present time, Mr. Chairman. The political declaration that was issued on Tuesday by the G-7 summit contains elements which bear directly on the matters before us. The leaders said, among other things: It is a matter for hope and encouragement that the UN Security Council with the backing of the international community showed during the Gulf crisis that it could fulfill its role of acting to restore international peace and security and to resolve conflict. . . .

We commit ourselves to making the United Nations stronger, more efficient and more effective in order to protect human rights, to maintain peace and security for all and to deter aggression. . . . We note that the urgent and overwhelming nature of the humanitarian problem in Iraq caused by violent oppression by the government required exceptional action by the international community, following UNSCR 688. We urge the United Nations and its affiliated agencies to be ready to consider similar action in the future if circumstances require it. Unfortunately, however, the events of the last few weeks have provided further evidence of the fundamental untrustworthiness of the Iraqi regime headed by Saddam Hussein. The Government of Iraq has cynically violated its solemnly given commitment to abide by the requirements of Resolution 687. It has lied to the UN in its declarations on nuclear activities. It has ignored the requirement contained in Resolution 688 to cease harassing and threatening its own civilian population. It has refused to cooperate with the provision of humanitarian relief to elements of that population and has attempted to manipulate distribution of relief to its own political advantage. In short, Saddam Hussein is a liar. The behavior of Saddam Hussein, while no surprise to those who have followed carefully the events which began last August 2, does present a tough challenge to the United Nations and the international coalition which expelled Saddam's forces from Kuwait, and which has been providing relief and assistance to Iraq's hard pressed Kurdish minority and other groups. In a nutshell, this challenge is to effectively implement the complex requirements of Resolution 687 and related Security Council directives. The series of resolutions enacted since last August concerning Iraq do provide the basis for continued pressure on the Government of Iraq, and for the dismantling of its formidable aggressive capabilities, and for seeing that those capabilities are not redeveloped. The key to their success lies in maintaining the pressure.

Ensuring Future Peace and Security in the Gulf At the London summit, the leaders of the Group of 7 expressed their desire to strengthen the role of the United Nations in fostering international peace and security. In the aftermath of the Gulf war, the United Nations had established new practical security mechanisms that point the way for the international community to maintain the peace in the future. The Special Commission was established by the Security Council as an instrument to oversee the elimination of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. Despite the attempts of the government of Iraq to hide its capabilities and obstruct the UN's work, the Special Commission and the IAEA have worked well. During a program of intensive inspections, the IAEA and the Special Commission uncovered a huge covert nuclear weapons-related program. This revelation elicited a major international outcry. Today, we expect the IAEA to decide that Iraq is in violation of its obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and Iraq's Safeguards Agreement. This is the first such decision in IAEA's history, and a potentially major step in the agency's development. The head of the Special Commission and the Director General of the IAEA briefed the Security Council last Monday. They presented clear and incontrovertible evidence that Iraq was, indeed, engaged in a clandestine nuclear weapons program. Indeed, Saddam said only yesterday in a speech commemorating the anniversary of the Baathist revolution that Iraq would one day strike back at its enemies and that its capability to do so would be reconstructed. The Special Commission had been able to react swiftly to Iraqi violations because of the strong response of the Security Council and the international community to its grave, serious revelations about Iraq's nuclear program. The Special Commission is a mechanism that is appropriate to its task, it has been staffed with the caliber of experts who can do the job, and it is effective because it has the full political support of the international community. Iraq's failure to accept the judgment of the international community--if it continues to hinder the work of the Special Commission--can only have the gravest consequences. This is exactly how the Special Commission should be working. As such the Special Commission should serve as a model for the future, when the international community is faced with a clear danger and must assure that another brutal aggressor can no longer threaten international peace and security with weapons of mass destruction. Similarly, the arms embargo which the Security Council has maintained against Iraq will help check future Iraqi aggression. Its success has also inspired world leaders to seek greater UN involvement in helping to curb regional arms races, including the pro- posal for a UN-monitored arms sales registration program, which leaders at the London economic summit have endorsed. We should understand, however, that Resolution 687's modification of Resolution 661's sanctions regime (and possible future modifications) make it operationally more difficult in preventing evasions of the continuing arms embargo. This is a matter that will require our careful and continuing attention in the months and years ahead.

Sanctions/Humanitarian Assistance President Bush has made it clear that we will not turn our backs on the suffering of the Iraqi people, largely caused by Saddam Hussein's cynical exploitation of hardship for political purposed. Iraq, under normal circumstances, and under an ethical government, had the full capability to take care of its own needs. We are fully prepared to meet our humanitarian obligations. However, the cost of assisting vulnerable populations should ultimately be born by Iraq itself, as should the costs of implementing Resolution 687. Under no circumstances should Saddam Hussein's regime to regain total control of the considerable resources available if Iraq resumes oil exports, even on a limited basis. The most recent assessment of the needs of the Iraqi people, undertaken by Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan recommends that Iraq be permitted to export oil sufficient to pay for the import of humanitarian necessities. This really brings us to the dilemma that Saddam's conduct so starkly poses because of his manipulation of existing food supplies. On the one hand, you could contemplate simply the unlimited provision of humanitarian assistance with no monitoring and no controls. That would be unacceptable, because the clear record here is that Saddam Hussein would manipulate those supplies for his own political purposes. Another alternate would simply be to not provide any assistance at all, which would lead potentially to grave suffering on the part of the vulnerable groups in Iraq's population. There is, however, a third way, and that is to provide assistance under a regime of tight controls and strict monitoring. There has never been any question about President Bush's willingness to see to the needs of vulnerable groups in Iraq. The President has said that we would help and that humanitarian needs can be met within the existing sanctions regime. But Saddam Hussein has proven that he cannot be trusted. Any mechanism developed to provide essential supplies to the Iraqi people must include strict control and close monitoring by the international community. We are now consulting closely with members of the Security Council and our coalition partners on the appropriate operational ways to do this. We would note that food and other relief supplies from foreign sources have been moving into Iraq at a steady rate for the past 2 months. Since food shipments were permitted by the Sanctions Committee on March 22, very substantial amounts of food have been notified to the committee. Substantial amounts have moved into Iraq as well, physically. Donations from humanitarian organizations and individual governments (including the US) have amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars. Additionally, the Iraqi Government has access to foreign exchange that can be used to buy food from abroad. Recently, the Iraqis notified the Sanctions Committee that they had purchased 100,000 tons of grain from Australia. We would also note that a study by two Tufts University nutritionists, commissioned by UNICEF, indicated that while there are problems with malnutrition, particularly in southern Iraq, these problems are endemic -- due to longstanding Iraqi government policies. Dr. Jean Mayer, President of Tufts, said, "The Iraqi Government appears to be using food as a weapon by cutting off the shipment of food and medical supplies to the southern part of the country. This situation must be monitored closely." In the light of these facts, it is clear that while we are prepared to move quickly to provide food to victims of Saddam Hussein's regime, the international community must also be prepared to ensure that none of this assistance ends up in any way supporting that regime. In this regard, Mr. Chairman, I would like to address the resolution that has been offered by Penny which would have the UN unfreeze Iraqi assets and turn them over to UNICEF for the provision of relief in Iraq. While we are all sympathetic to the needs of the Iraqi people and to the intentions of this amendment, we believe that the first initiative must come from Baghdad. They have shown no such humanitarian indications. There are many legitimate claims against the frozen assets by US citizens, and sorting that out will be a lengthy and difficult process. President Bush has made it clear that he would not lift sanctions against Iraq while Saddam Hussein remains in Power. It is ironic, Mr. Chairman, that as Iraq's pleas to ease sanctions become more high pitched, the Iraqi regime continues to flout and challenge the UN. Iraq's well-documented attempts to evade detection of its nuclear weapons program by the joint IAEA/Special Commission inspection teams, its false declarations, and its harassment of the Inspectors are unacceptable. Two weeks ago, disturbing reports reached Geneva of intense military harassment of a group of Shias thought to be trapped in the marshes of Southern Iraq. The Secretary General's Executive Delegate, Prince Sadruddin, went himself to look into the situation. He was first denied permission by Iraqi authorities, then stalled long enough for Iraq's forces reportedly to be withdrawn. Two days ago, the UN staff, including UN guards, whom Sadruddin left to remain in the vicinity of the marshes were told by the Government of Iraq to leave the area because they were no longer needed. This is a direct contravention of Resolution 688 requirements not to interfere with UN relief efforts in Iraq. It also contravenes Iraq's own memorandum of understanding with Prince Sadruddin. These and other examples provide a clear pattern of Iraq's intransigent refusal to comply with the UN's requirements under Resolutions 687, and 688. The Iraqis are well aware that they are fooling no one, yet their actions continue. Clearly the present Iraqi regime cannot respond in good faith with the requirements of the international community. Therefore, the only course left to us and our allies is to maximize the pressure of the economic sanctions and to maintain the active possibility that there are other options. (###)

Product Name:  Dispatch, Vol 2 No 30 Jul 29 1991
Product Code:  DP
Document Type:  TXT
Thematic Codes:  1UN; 1AC; 1NE; 160
PDQ Text Link:  203682